Traffic in Atlanta sucks ass. Full stop. I know LA has notoriously horrendous traffic. And I realize that there are other places, like Washington, DC, that also experience trash ass traffic. But when I think of Atlanta, traffic is literally in the top 2 things I associate with the city. I’ve been in the dumbest traffic jams of all time in the A in my earlier years and I can’t imagine what it’s like right now considering people keep moving there since that whole Charlotte-as-the-new-Atlanta thing never quite panned out.
So yesterday’s news that basically a part of motherfucking I-85, one of the most important arteries in the southeast, fell the fuck off due to a fire underneath it (and you can’t convince me the OTHER side is structurally sound now), just means that there’s almost no good reason to head to Atlanta any time soon. Traffic already sucked, I literally cannot fathom what its going to look like now. And because a part of the actual road, ya know, fell off, who knows how long that will take before its rebuilt and structurally fit enough for people to drive along.
Shit, what’s worse, is that it stands to reason that a significant number of people, ya know, millions, have been driving on that highway and its been just WAITING to collapse. The fact that nobody was injured, or worse, died is entirely God saying, “Atlanta, this is going to suck enough for you, no need to make it worse with the loss of life.”
How great is our God?
When I was younger, and specifically in college, we used to joke about two things in relation to Atlanta traffic: 1) Rush hour was between morning and night; and 2) each and every day in Atlanta, you knew there was going to be an accident, everybody was just waiting for their number to be called. Granted, the second is more of a duh than anything. Atlanta is a huge metropolitan area that spans a HUGE amount of land. Atlanta is the posterchild for urban sprawl, after all. And because the public transportation system is balls, everybody drives (if they can help it) which means Accidents ‘R Us.
But at least the roads weren’t falling apart.
And for out of towners, obviously a piece of highway falling apart is no small thing. But in Atlanta, it’s literally everything. Atlanta is a highway city. You take the highway everywhere. Shit, highways get shouted out in rap songs. I have a t-shirt of I-20 that says “westside” on it because that’s my part of town. Highways are a way of life. Shit, Youngbloodz had a song called “85” where the hook goes, “ridin’ dirty on 85…”
A quick note on public transportation: I have no idea if its gotten better, though by all accounts it hasn’t. The fact that the last stop on the West line is my neighborhood which is INSIDE 285, and a solid 5-7 minute drive by car to downtown is a travesty. I guess more people are going to be riding busses and using Marta rail, maybe. Maybe that will kick open the door for a much needed expansion of the rail system which has so many socio-political problems its ridiculous.
As an outsider, I’m curious how the region is going to deal with what I’m guessing will amount to a hole in a highway that is heavily travelled. Sure there are other ways to get places using highways, but good Lord those commute times are going to become even more unbearable than they already are. Nobody should be able to listen to both Views and More Life in their entirety going in one direction and still not make it to their destination, but that could very well be a possibility.
But at least Atlanta has a new stadium for the also collapsible Atlanta Falcons? Am I right?